I went equipped with my badge, consisting of the “Justice Seen Justice Done” Logo and our Neighbourhood Watch logo to meet the Tower Hamlets Housing officials, including our new estates officer, Alison Brown. The map of the Council approved play area was on display and people attending were encouraged to mark the spot for the play area to be built. Children could place stickers on play equipment they prefer. Very nicely done THH.
Mothers with their children were all for the play ground and it is up to the parents to ensure their children conduct themselves reasonably when using it. Most wanted the play area to be fenced in with volunteers holding the key to lock and unlock it for use.
Also discussed were matters of repairs and the long promised and awaited kitchens. It was mentioned that when the 2 stars hopefully will be rewarded next year that funding will come in to carry out internal improvements to the flats.
A THH officer mentioned that it might change when the government changes to which I objected because it sounded like if you don’t vote Labour you might not get your kitchens.
One resident was quick to remark that housing was much better under the GLC and things went downhill when Ken Livingstone took over. I personally remember that we had lovely improvements to our flats done 25 years ago whilst under a Tory government and the estates generally looked much better when we had Conservative governments and during the latest Labour reign we saw very little done to improve our estates. (Well some were lucky but not Parkview). I think housing standard should not be subject to who is on the government for the next five years because our homes last for life and not for the duration of a government administration, but those constant promises of improvements once the 2 star standard is achieved, jeopardise the standards we were accustomed to before Labour took over our housing matters and we are on the 4th housing minister now.
To come back to the play area, fears were raised about potential problems, which is why I, as Neighbourhood Watch representative attended to take note of those fears and shall also discuss that with the local Safer Neighbourhood Team but again it is paramount that parents are responsible for the conduct of their children at all times and that it is better to have a play area than not have one at all because someone could misbehave.
The work on the play area is planned to start in January of 2010. I have been informed by a long standing resident that there was previously a play area where now the car park is in front of the Glasshouse but that was removed and again would like to emphasise that it is up to us residents to make the best of what we’ve got and be proud of doing so. All agreed that no one liked the wild football playing behind Mark House. We do have a big park next door and one or two parents could volunteer to accompany children for a game of ball just across the road.